RHaynes (11th March 2011)
Im constintly being asked to reload O/S on friends laptops and PC's and whilst this is easier enough to do it is time consuming especially given all of the updates and instalation of the software that goes with it such as Microsoft Office and the like. I Just wondered is there a way to create a ghost image disc that i could just load into the computer or laptop and have the o/s install with the programs and updates.
I have done it on the past on a school network using symantic ghost but wasnt sure if you could do similar on a home PC or Laptop with different specs.
RHaynes (11th March 2011)
I use a USB stick which I made bootable and copied the ghost.exe on and then get it to dump it to USB and then copy the images on and off as I need them. Currently got 7 images sat on my hard drive that I have ghosted within the last year. Have used one of them twice, it has saved me hours!
With home pc's you normally get a recovery CD or image partition which you are supposed to use to rebuild.
However this will be as the pc left the factory/distributor. Therefore will probably not have all the updates.
You can create an image then create a script or use a answer file which you can call to run the updates.
However, this will only deploy the OS and updates.
An image such as ghost would be good, but this means you will have to keep this updated everytime a major change is made. Which will require you to capture for all your friends/family. Or they will have to accept a point of recovery.
You could also create a image partition and schedule a task/script to make an image of the current PC and dump to a partition which can then be used to recover. Can also specify the number of images to keep before overwritiong/deleting. Then if friend has issue, ask them to restore. You can leave a script behind for them to execute to use x image.
Of course, you both know that without the proper licensing [for Ghost] for those target machines - home or otherwise - that its illegal right? and especially so if your intending on using the volume Windows media in work instead of the correct OEM media :S
Dont shoot the messenger however Am just pointing it out in case you / others arent aware
A little idea though, as far as the OS goes, you could install the OEM of, say, Vista / 7 Home Premium in a VM, get it all updated and install the various runtimes and tools etc. Sysprep it and shutdown and then capture that image and clone it with some open source application and use that perhaps?
With XP, using a automated and slipsteamed CD / DVD is relatively straight forward to make and use. Vista / 7 is a bit more involved, and so, havent really needed to try it yet (havent had the urge to get around to it).
Just floating ideas there.... likely someone else can point out some better ways
SUHK: you keep beating me to answering hehe
We used to image machines in 6mins using gimagex and a wim image using a very very fast USB stick
Some good ideas here. I think the challenge is going to be the if you intend to have one image or many for different architectures, i.e x86 or x64. Also, if all your friends have family have the same OS Edition. Sysprep would be good as it will remove machine specific data. Drivers shoudn't be an issue as you can add all required in the image for each architecture. Applications should be OK (keep in mind, licensing).
@Nathan - lol, well.....you can get addicted to a crackberry (blackberry).
Use Clonezilla to take an image onto a USB or CD, or alternatively use nLite to create another windows disk with slipstreamed updates.
nLite - Deployment Tool for the bootable Unattended Windows installation
Alternatively just download all the service packs and stuff you need onto a CD, its amazing how much time is spent downloading during those frequent reinstalls!!
Use MDT to make your images and make them into a media install. With a big enough storage device you can set it up so you can have a menu to select your separate images for install.
Thanks everybody for you suggestions. Its basically windows 7, microsoft office, avg antivirus and whatever system updates need to be installed. Is there a particular option you think would be best for this. All of my friends are now running Windows 7 but would the image still work on systems with different specs?
The image will if you include all the drivers in there.
Also, if they are all using 32 bit and not 64bit.
Options, there's plenty here, suit ones that you feel comfortable with.
You should be able to find it on a Windows 7 install under %WINDIR%\system32\sysprep.
Can you download from MDT/WAIK I believe.
You can write to a DVD directly but may be quicker if you write to a local partition the copy the image to DVD.
Thank you again for you help will try it tomorrow will let you know how I get on
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